The Scripps Research Institute is one of the institutions that received funding from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to foster creativity and scientific innovation in high school students and fund basic stem cell discoveries. The grant enabled Scripps Research to expand its high school summer internship program on the La Jolla, California campus to include 10 participants with a specific interest in stem cell research.
“We were delighted that CIRM has chosen to fund our program,” said James R. Williamson, dean of graduate and postgraduate studies. “We hope the summer internships inspired some talented students from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in stem cell research and others to participate in our community with the benefit of first-hand experience with science.”
The summer internship program for high school students rolled out in three phases. First, the students attended a series of enrichment tutorials in the spring. Organized by Scripps Research Doctoral Program in Chemical and Biological Sciences doctoral students, the tutorials covered various aspects of modern molecular biology and chemistry—from chemistry to cell biology. Next, the interns participated in a one-week training session at the Southern California Biotechnology Center at Miramar College, made possible by a partnership with the Life Science Summer Institute and sponsored by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and Biocom. In the course, which could count as two college credits, students learned basic lab procedures and various soft skills, including documentation, notebook entry, and lab safety. Once in the lab, each student assisted in a specific research project under the supervision of a mentor. The interns were included as much as possible in productive lab activities and the normal life of the lab, with all its joys and frustrations. In addition to time spent at the laboratory bench, the interns participated in weekly get-togethers featuring lunch and lectures from Scripps Research faculty and scientific staff, as well as field trips to local biotech companies and other points of interest. At the end of the summer, students presented their research to peers, mentors, parents, and supporters.
For more information about Scripps Research’s Academic Preparation and Educational Outreach Programs see http://education.scripps.edu/community/california/hsintern/index.html.
The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world’s largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. Over the past decades, Scripps Research has developed a lengthy track record of major contributions to science and health, including laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. The institute employs about 3,000 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including three Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute’s graduate program, which awards Ph.D. degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu